I had the privilege of visiting MCAD this weekend and was able to take in Everything Under the Sun, the faculty show. The show is, as always, a diverse group of work, reflecting the diverse group of faculty there. Being a new media guy, I immediately was drawn to Piotr Szyhalski’s The Stadium Project. Szyhalski is co-creator of the Dolphin Oracle II, featured in the Walker Arcade, and a number of pieces in gallery 9. The premise of the piece is simple: visitors view and create messages with the digital version of boards that would be held overhead during sporting events to create a large message. In essence, it is a pixel based display, but with a distinct sense of grandiose scale.
p.s. Sorry about the shaky video. It seems I am always without a tripod.
Read the rest for Szyhalski’s statement…
The Stadium Project
When preparing this project my thoughts revolved around these four main issues:
I have always believed that art is a communicative experience: an exchange, a dialogue. In that respect The Stadium Project provides several connections: as an engine it truly facilitates an exchange between all participants (myself included), while providing a sense of collaborative effort in constructing a new narrative.
The surface of the screen marks a point of balance between a number of concepts: contributors and consumers, individual and group, real and virtual, private and public, black and white, and of course large and small.
The Stadium Project is inspired by the grand displays organized on occasion of sporting events, political or military parades, during which hundreds of people display colored boards collectively composing spectacular, living images. I was always fascinated by this format, and it remains my humble hope to some day design such live event. This virtual stadium rendition touches on some of the intriguing conceptual issues unique to that format. For example it effectively unifies many voices, and on the other hand, it multiplies an individual presence (all video clips are of the same person). It seemingly amplifies ideas through implied context and scale, but in reality it drastically simplifies them due to a rather crude low resolution quality of the “pixel-by-pixel” rendering. Finally it gives the user a sense of control over the device, while undermining it through independent–sometimes random sequencing patterns, constantly rearranging all recorded messages.
While unpredictability and randomness would likely wreak havoc in the “real world”, the open nature of this interactive environment adds to its richness. In this case, continuous evolution of the project constructing new, and unpredictable ideas, as well as it’s growth and flexibility are designed to uphold and defend individual voices of all contributors.
I hold the cards, but you play them.
I am an “army of one” at your disposal.